Throughout the month Voyagers have been working on their Demonstrations of Learning projects. These are designed to encourage the Voyagers to think critically, solve problems, and develop personal skills and work habits while planning, researching, working as a team, and setting goals for the day.
The students started by creating a personal Day Start Journal to keep track of where they are, and what their next step is. We included pages for the World History Report, Science Project, a page for practice with English such as parts of speech or handwriting, and one for arithmetic such as building their memory of multiples or use of fractions. We also have a personal goals page to plan time to work on stories, continue a monopoly game, build on a comic strip, learn chess, continue designing a lego vehicle or program our robots, circuits, or laser puzzles.
In the fourth and fifth yearswe are building English language art skills to be able to work more independently. Students write their own sentences and learn how to create outline notes from texts, videos, and speeches. They practice using the outlines to create a solid paragraph. Our end of year World History Essay will have an introduction, a paragraph for mountains, deserts, and lakes, and then an ending. I am able to assess their level of learning of World History and Geography and their language arts skills. After the essay is complete, Voyagers are encouraged to use an oral presentation, video/multimedia presentation, create illustrations, or use photographs to present their essay to the class with a poster.
In science we have spent the year with Energy, Physics and Nature Studies with magnets, circuits, force and motion, and transfer of energy while also learning about the chemicals in soil, tending to our compost and worm bins, raising Steelhead Salmon from eggs to fry, planting trees, and researching ways to help the earth.
Our year-end science projects may be an Observation, Demonstration or Experiment. Many have chosen the demonstration of what interested them the most throughout the year.
What I have seen, is that the learning has come to them so naturally, that they are having difficulty explaining on paper what they are observing, and expressing to another the natural rush of questions and adjustments that they made. They are doing the steps, yet they find it difficult to explain. For some it seems to be a matter of shyness, not wanting to boast or feeling unsure that their ideas are enough. This is where we will be the last few weeks of school, practicing how to share what we are learning. I am confident that they will see that their collection of work will show off their accomplishments this year and that their presentations will provide a summary of the skills and knowledge that has been built this 2018/19 year.
~ Teacher Angie